Fixed-fee leasehold conveyancing in Torquay:

When it comes to leasehold conveyancing in Torquay, you will need to chose a conveyancing lawyer with leasehold experience. Whether your mortgage company is to be Lloyds, Yorkshire Building Society or Bradford & Bingley be sure to choose a lawyer on their approved list. Feel free to use our search tool

Top Five Questions relating to Torquay leasehold conveyancing

I want to let out my leasehold flat in Torquay. Conveyancing solicitor who did the purchase is retired - so can't ask her. Do I need to ask my freeholder for their consent?

The lease governs the relationship between the landlord and you the flat owner; specifically, it will set out if subletting is banned, or permitted but only subject to certain caveats. The rule is that if the lease contains no specific ban or restriction, subletting is allowed. Most leases in Torquay do not contain strict prohibition on subletting – such a clause would adversely affect the market value the flat. Instead, there is usually simply a requirement that the owner notifies the freeholder, possibly supplying a duplicate of the sublease.

I own a leasehold flat in Torquay. Conveyancing and Godiva Mortgages Ltd mortgage went though with no issue. I have received a letter from someone claiming to own the reversionary interest in the property. It included a demand for arrears of ground rent dating back to 1994. The conveyancing practitioner in Torquay who previously acted has long since retired.Any advice?

The first thing you should do is contact the Land Registry to be sure that the individual claiming to own the freehold is in fact the registered owner of the freehold reversion. You do not need to incur the fees of a Torquay conveyancing solicitor to do this as you can do this on the Land Registry website for £3. Rest assured that regardless, even if this is the legitimate landlord, under the Limitation Act 1980 no more than 6 years of rent can be collected.

Last month I purchased a leasehold flat in Torquay. Am I liable to pay service charges relating to a period prior to my ownership?

In a situation where the service charge has already been demanded from the previous owner and they have not paid you would not usually be personally liable for the arrears. However, your landlord may still be able to take action to forfeit the lease. A critical element of leasehold conveyancing for your conveyancer to ensure to have an up to date clear service charge receipt before completion of your purchase. If you have a mortgage this is likely to be a requirement of your lender.

If you purchase part way through an accounting year you may be liable for charges not yet demanded even if they relate to a period prior to your purchase. In such circumstances your conveyancer would normally arrange for the seller to set aside some money to cover their part of the period (usually called a service charge retention).

Do you have any top tips for leasehold conveyancing in Torquay with the intention of saving time on the sale process?

  • A significant proportion of the frustration in leasehold conveyancing in Torquay can be avoided if you appoint lawyers the minute your agents start marketing the property and ask them to put together the leasehold information needed by the buyers lawyers.
  • In the event that you altered the property did you need the Landlord’s permission? Have you, for example installed wooden flooring? Most leases in Torquay state that internal structural alterations or addition of wooden flooring calls for a licence from the Landlord approving such works. Should you fail to have the approvals to hand do not contact the landlord without contacting your lawyer in advance.
  • A minority of Torquay leases require Licence to Assign from the landlord. If this is the case, you should place the estate agents on notice to make sure that the purchasers obtain bank and professional references. Any bank reference will need to confirm that the buyers are able to meet the annual service charge and the actual amount of the service charge should be quoted in the bank’s letter. You will therefore need to provide your estate agents with the actual amount of the service charge so that they can pass this information on to the purchasers or their solicitors.
  • If you hold a share in a the Management Company, you should ensure that you have the original share document. Organising a duplicate share certificate can be a time consuming formality and delays many a Torquay conveyancing transaction. If a reissued share is necessary, you should approach the company officers or managing agents (if relevant) for this as soon as possible.
  • You believe that you know the number of years left on your lease but you should verify this via your conveyancers. A buyer’s conveyancer will not be happy to advise their client to where the lease term is below 80 years. In the circumstances it is essential at an early stage that you consider whether the lease requires a lease extension. If it does, contact your solicitors before you put your property on the market for sale.

  • What are the common problems that you witness in leases for Torquay properties?

    Leasehold conveyancing in Torquay is not unique. All leases is drafted differently and legal mistakes in the legal wording can sometimes mean that certain provisions are missing. For example, if your lease is missing any of the following, it could be defective:

    • A provision to repair to or maintain parts of the building
    • A duty to insure the building
    • A provision for the recovery of money spent for the benefit of another party.
    • Service charge per centages that don't add up correctly leaving a shortfall

    A defective lease will likely cause issues when trying to sell a property primarily because it impacts on the ability to obtain a mortgage on the property. Birmingham Midshires, Chelsea Building Society, and Nottingham Building Society all have express requirements when it comes to what is expected in a lease. If a mortgage lender believes that the lease does not cover certain provisions they may refuse to grant the mortgage, forcing the buyer to pull out.

    I am the registered owner of a ground floor flat in Torquay, conveyancing having been completed 3 years ago. Can you let me have an estimated range of the fair premium for a lease extension? Similar properties in Torquay with over 90 years remaining are worth £185,000. The ground rent is £65 yearly. The lease expires on 21st October 2095

    You have 73 years remaining on your lease the likely cost is going to span between £11,400 and £13,200 plus costs.

    The figure that we have given is a general guide to costs for renewing a lease, but we are not able to supply the actual costs in the absence of detailed due diligence. Do not use the figures in tribunal or court proceedings. There are no doubt other issues that need to be considered and clearly you should be as accurate as possible in your negotiations. Please do not take any other action placing reliance on this information before getting professional advice.

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Torquay